Vitamin B12

Beef, pork, lamb and milk contain vitamin B12, an essential nutrient not naturally present in a vegan diet

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the functioning of our bodies. It can help reduce tiredness and fatigue, support our immune system to work normally and can help normal psychological function. 

It’s found naturally in red meat (like beef, lamb and pork) and in dairy (like milk, cheese and a pot of yogurt), as well as eggs and fish and can be more difficult to source from foods of plant origin.

Molecule3

What is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps the body’s nervous system function normally, helps to make red blood cells and has a role in cell division.

It also helps keep our immune system working as it should – what a busy little B!

Vitamin man B12

Why is vitamin B12 important?

Adults need around 1.5 micrograms (μg) of vitamin B12 a day. 

  • A glass of 200ml semi-skimmed milk provides 1.9 μg of vitamin B12 
  • A 150g pot of low-fat fruit yogurt contains 0.45 μg of vitamin B12
  • A 30g block of hard cheese contains 0.7 μg of vitamin B12 
  • 100g of raw, lean lamb has 2 μg of vitamin B12 
  • 100g of raw, lean pork has 1 μg of vitamin B12 
  • 100g of raw, lean beef has 2 μg of vitamin B12 

Vitamin B12 can help:

  • Reduce fatigue and tiredness
  • Support normal psychological function
  • The nervous and immune system work normally
  • The formation of red blood cells
  • The division of cells in the body

Amazing! 

What am I getting alongside vitamin B12?

Dairy products (milk, cheese, a pot of yogurt), lean beef, lamb and pork provide a range of nutrients that contribute to good health*, including those that are often difficult to source from plant foods, such as high-quality protein and vitamin B12.

Lean beef, lamb and pork contain:

  • Potassium – contributes to maintaining low blood pressure and helping the nervous system to function
  • Phosphorus – contributes to bone growth and development in children and the maintenance of normal bones in adults
  • Zinc – helps the immune system work normally and contributes to normal cognitive function
  • Niacin (vitamin B3) – can help reduce tiredness and fatigue, helps the immune system work normally and supports normal cognitive function
  • Vitamin B6 – supports normal energy production and red blood cell production, and contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity

*A varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle is an important part of maintaining good health.

A rich B12 meal

Where else can I get vitamin B12?

If you’re cutting out meat, fish, dairy and eggs you can get vitamin B12 from:

  • Fortified foods (e.g. yeast extract, some breakfast cereals, some plant alternatives to milk and milk products)
  • Supplements

Nutrition and health claims comply with Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

Expert Opinion

There are a lot of mixed messages in the media around food and nutrition, so it’s easy to get confused. That’s why we’ve started the We Eat Balanced campaign, to provide an evidence-based antidote to misinformation.
We know the food choices we make go hand-in-hand with our health and wellbeing, and a balanced diet is one that offers variety, nourishment and enjoyment, while remaining in harmony with the environment.
Here in the UK, we have a balanced approach to farming, and we want to shine a light on that too. Our farmers are united in their ambition to bring high quality, nutritious and sustainable food to everyone and are continuously driving towards a carbon-neutral farming industry with high welfare standards at its heart.
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There are a lot of mixed messages in the media around food and nutrition meaning it’s easy to get confused. That’s why we’ve started the We Eat Balanced campaign, to provide an evidence-based antidote to the misinformation.

We know that the food choices we make are integral to our health and wellbeing, and a balanced diet is one that offers variety, nourishment and enjoyment whilst remaining in harmony with the environment.

Here in the UK we have a balanced approach to farming, and we want to shine a light on that too. Our farmers are united in their ambition to bring high quality, naturally nutrient rich produce to people, and are continuously driving towards a carbon neutral food industry with high welfare standards at its heart.